News Releases
HCDSB News Release
Thursday, June 21, 2018
Joint HCDSB & HDSB News Release
Ministry of Education withholds EDC Background Study approval, potentially costing Halton school boards millions in revenue.

Halton Catholic School Board Trustees and Halton District School Board Trustees have reached out to local politicians to seek their help in addressing a recent setback with serious financial implications for both school boards.

At the Regular Board Meeting held on June 19, 2018, HCDSB Trustees received a presentation from staff addressing concerns with the Ministry of Education's withholding of approvals that will prevent the Board from adopting a new Education Development Charges (EDC) By-law. The current HCDSB EDC By-law is scheduled to expire on June 23, 2018.

The matter was also discussed by the Halton District Trustees at their Board meeting held on June 20, 2018. The HDSB EDC By-law will expire on June 24, 2018.

Education Development Charges By-laws adopted under the Education Act enable school boards to recover growth-related net education land costs from developers. In this way, residential and business growth pays for the Boards’ purchases of school sites to accommodate the construction of new schools.

The HCDSB and the HDSB EDC By-laws expire on June 23 and June 24, 2018, respectively. If another by-law does not replace it, both school boards will be unable to collect development charges to purchase land for new schools in Halton region. This will amount to an unrecoverable joint board loss of approximately $221,545 per day or $4.87 million per month in EDC revenues.

Before the Boards are able to adopt new By-laws, approval is required from the Ministry of Education of a Background Study including the estimated number of growth-related students and the school sites that are required to accommodate them. This information was submitted to the Ministry of Education in mid-March 2018 with the original tentative plan to pass new By-laws by mid-May 2018.

Although both school boards, and their EDC consultants were assured by the Ministry of Education in early May that the June 7, 2018 Provincial election would have no impact on the required EDC Background Study approvals, the Directors of Education were informed by the Ministry of Education that approvals are being withheld until sometime after the swearing-in of the new Provincial government.

“We know that the Halton Region is one of the fastest growing areas in the country, and therefore the demand to provide student accommodation in a timely fashion is significant and challenging," says Diane Rabenda, Chair of the Halton Catholic District School Board. "Obtaining sites to build new schools is essential to adequately addressing student enrolment pressures, and we rely heavily on EDCs to assist in the purchase of school sites to help us meet the needs of the families in our growing communities.” 

“I’ve seen the numbers and if we don’t have replacement EDC By-laws in place by June 24, 2018, the combined loses for both the Halton District School Board and Halton Catholic District School Board will have serious financial impact,” says AndréGrebenc, Chair of the Halton District School Board. 

“Because of growth, our Board currently requires, and has Ministry approval for, several new schools in the region. The loss of the ability to collect EDCs in an ongoing way to purchase land places school communities and Halton District School Board’s budget under untenable pressure, and puts the Board in a difficult position of uncertain delivery of new schools.” 

Together, the Halton Catholic District School Board and Halton District School Board have reached out to local MPPs to ask for assistance in advocating for an urgent review and resolution to this situation, which has profound financial losses for both boards.

The Halton Catholic District School Board is a model learning community, widely recognized as distinctively Catholic. A provincial leader in student achievement, HCDSB provides exceptional educational experiences and services to over 34,000 students of all ages. God’s call to love and to serve is nurtured across our 45 elementary schools, 9 secondary schools, and 3 continuing education facilities, serving the communities of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton, and Oakville. With a focus on Achieving, Believing, and Belonging, we provide our students and staff with the tools for realizing their fullest potential, while also instilling a life-long commitment to the community.

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Media Contact:
Diane Rabenda
Chair, Halton Catholic District School Board
905-632-6314, ext. 7185 
Alternate Media Contact:
Andréa Grebenc
Chair, Halton District School Board

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